How to File a Brain Injury Claim
January 3, 2019 / Catastrophic Injuries
Brain injuries can create lifelong disabilities. They can prevent you from working, impair your ability to think, change your personality, result in emotional problems, impair you physically and cause chronic pain. If you’ve suffered a brain injury because of the negligence or an intentional act of another party, you may have legal rights to compensation. We know the process of how to file a brain injury claim can be difficult. Let us help you through the process.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal brain function.
There were about 2.8 million TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S. in 2013. That year, TBI …
- Contributed to the deaths of nearly 50,000 people, and
- Was diagnosed in more than 282,000 hospitalizations and 2.5 million ED visits.
What causes TBI?
- Falls were the leading cause of TBI in 2013, making up 47% of all TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Falls disproportionately harm the youngest and oldest victims.
- Being struck by or against an object was the second-leading cause of TBI, accounting for about 15% of TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations and deaths.
- 22% TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in children less than 15 years of age were caused by being struck by or against an object.
- Motor vehicle accidents were the third-leading cause of TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Of TBI-related deaths, motor vehicle crashes were the third leading cause (19%) in 2013.
What can you do if you’ve suffered a TBI that’s the fault of another party?
That depends on the circumstances leading up to the injury. If it happened while you were working, you could file a workers’ compensation claim. You may have slipped, fallen from a height, been struck by a piece of equipment or involved in a vehicle accident.
The workers compensation system is separate from the court system. You won’t need to prove who was at fault. Workers need to show they were injured in the course of doing their job while doing things within the scope of their job.
If the TBI was caused by a defective product, a defective piece of equipment or a third party, like a driver who caused a vehicle accident, in addition to the workers’ compensation claim you may be able to file a claim against the party’s insurance coverage. If that doesn’t result in a fair and reasonable settlement, the party can be sued for compensation for the injuries you suffered.
If the accident and injury happened outside of work, you could file a claim against the responsible party’s insurance carrier; and if a settlement isn’t worked out, a lawsuit against the policyholder can be filed. You, the plaintiff, would need to prove that the actions of the other party, the defendant, were either negligent or intentional and caused your injury and that they should pay you compensation as a result.
If you or a family member has suffered a serious brain injury, you may be facing serious challenges. You should speak with one of our attorneys about your legal rights, how they can be protected and how to file a brain injury claim.
With more than 30 years’ experience handling injury claims in Indiana, Mike Stephenson and Brady Rife of Stephenson Rife are ready to put their resources to work for you. To explore your options, call us today, or use our online contact form.